Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Shingles raises risk of stroke by 30 percent or more in adults

12.10.2009
Study Highlights:
  • Adults who develop shingles are about 30 percent more likely to have a stroke within a year than adults who don’t have shingles.
  • When the shingles infection involves the skin around the eye and the eye itself, the risk of stroke may increase more than four-fold.
  • Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Adults with shingles were about 30 percent more likely to have a stroke during a one-year follow-up than adults without shingles, in a study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The risk was even greater when the infection involved the eyes.

Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). VZV is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body. Usually the virus doesn’t cause problems, but it can reappear years later, causing shingles.

Shingles is not caused by the same virus that causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.

“Many studies have shown that people with herpes zoster infection are more likely to develop stroke. But ours is the first to demonstrate the actual risk of stroke following herpes zoster infection,” said Jiunn-Horng Kang, M.D., M.Sc., lead author of the study and attending physician in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and chair of the Sleep Physiological Lab at Taipei Medical University Hospital.

Kang and his associates studied 7,760 patients 18 years and older who received shingles treatment between 1997 and 2001. These people were matched by age and gender with 23,280 adults who weren’t treated for shingles (controls). Their average age was 47.

During the one-year follow-up, 133 shingles patients (about 1.7 percent) and 306 of the controls (about 1.3 percent) had strokes. After adjusting for general factors for stroke risk, the researchers found:

• People treated for a shingles infection were 31 percent more likely to have a stroke, compared with patients without a shingles infection.

• Patients with shingles infections that involved the skin around the eye and the eye itself (herpes zoster ophthalmicus) were 4.28 times more likely to have a stroke than patients without shingles. When the researchers analyzed the risk of stroke by stroke type, they found:

• Shingles patients were 31 percent more likely to develop an ischemic stroke during the one-year follow-up than those without shingles.

• The risk of hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke was 2.79 times higher for people with shingles infection than for people without shingles.

Ischemic strokes, which are caused by the blockage of an artery, account for 87 percent of the new or recurrent strokes that strike about 780,000 Americans annually, according to the American Heart Association.

“Herpes zoster infection is very easy to diagnose, and antiviral medication can be used to treat the infection in the early stages,” Kang said. “While the mechanism by which shingles increases stroke risk remains unclear, the possibility of developing a stroke after a shingles attack should not be overlooked.

Doctors and patients must pay extra attention to controlling other risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes.”

Shingles usually starts as a rash on one side of the face or body. The rash starts as blisters that scab after three to five days and usually clears within two to four weeks. There is often pain, itching or tingling in the area where the rash develops.

Researchers didn’t design the study to determine how shingles infection raises stroke risk. But other research suggests that as the herpes zoster virus replicates and attacks the vessel wall, the vessel wall becomes damaged and inflamed. This in turn can cause the vessel to close up, or occlude, blocking blood flow to the brain. Shingles is also the only recognized human virus able to invade cerebral arteries.

In addition, shingles is also associated with severe pain, and the stress of that chronic pain may raise the risk of cardiovascular disease theoretically, Kang said.

Co-authors are Jau-Der Ho, M.D., Ph.D.; Yi-Hua Chen, Ph.D.; and Herng-Ching Lin, Ph.D. Individual author disclosures are on the manuscript.

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.americanheart.org/corporatefunding.

Bridgette McNeill | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.americanheart.org/corporatefunding
http://strokeassociation.org
http://www.heart.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>